A study conducted on children aged between 11 years and 14 years who have undergone childhood trauma, showed that they had reduced activity of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) gene NR3C1 which means fewer glucocorticoid receptors in their brains.
Fewer glucocorticoid receptors mean that excessive secretion of cortisol can’t be regulated in the body.
Therefore, kids who have undergone childhood trauma can grow up to be individuals who are susceptible to large amounts of cortisol in their bodies and hence they are more vulnerable to the effects of stress.
Childhood abuse or trauma can alter gene expression
There have been lots of studies to determine the effect of childhood trauma and abuse on the genetic makeup of a child.
Childhood abuse can be in any form ranging from maternal neglect during infancy years, separation or abandonment from parents during childhood, or /and physical or emotional abuse.
It can lead to alteration of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) gene expression.
Modification of this gene is believed to be the main reason that leads to increased sensitivity to stress.
Therefore children who have faced childhood trauma grow up to be adults with hypersensitivity to external stimuli of stress and suffer from panic or anxiety and are more prone to mental health issues.
An ‘Orchid Child’ and “Dandelion Child”
Any flower can grow beautifully and blossom into its fullest potential provided it is given the right conditions.
The “Orchid child” can be nurtured to grow into a beautiful human being with strength and resilience by providing loving care and support.
Such an environment also minimizes the risks of these kids developing mental or psychopathological during later years of life.
Intervention programs, counseling, and psychotherapy can be helpful for Orchid kids to help them to learn how to deal with stress and anxiety.
Children need tender love and support to build their confidence. When sensitive Orchid kids are nurtured and supported, they can grow up to strong and resilient human beings.